Benazepril is a medication commonly prescribed to people with high blood pressure or congestive heart failure. Veterinarians also prescribe benazepril to slow the progression of chronic renal insufficiency and chronic renal failure in cats. Although Benazepril is not the preferred choice for high blood pressure treatment in cats, it can be used to treat this condition in cats who also have kidney impairment.
Benazepril is available as the brands Lotensin and Forketor as well as in generic form. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved its use in cats, but many veterinarians find it beneficial. Pet owners should keep in mind that clinical studies have not been conducted on cats weighing less than five lbs.
Side effects associated with feline use of benazepril include changes in urination, decreased appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy and weakness. These effects should be reported to the veterinarian.
Low Blood Pressure
Weakness in cats during benazepril use may be a sign of low blood pressure. This can become significant enough to cause collapse, which requires emergency medical attention.
Especially during early treatment, cats must be monitored because benazepril can cause an initial increase in creatinine.
Cats taking benazepril can experience reduced erythrocytes counts (red blood cells) and elevated potassium levels, further reasons for the side effects of weakness and lethargy.